Ovens & Murray Advertiser (9)

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William T Jefferson, a storeman in the employ of Mrs O’Brien, of Greta, deposed that in the beginning of May last accused, Mrs Skillion and Isaiah Wright came to the Victoria Hotel at that place, the receipt produced was drawn out by him, signed by Sherritt, and witnessed by Wright. Saw Mrs Skillion pay two £1 notes. The bay horse outside the court was the subject of the sale and purchase.

Senior-Constable Mullane deposed that on the 16th July he had arrested the prisoner. Told him the charge, and asked him if he had anything to say in answer to it, and he replied in the negative. Some time in April received some correspondence from the Oxley police, to ascertain if a horse had been reported as stolen from Mrs Byrne, of Sebastopol. Had no record of the horse, and, in consequence, it was returned to Mrs Skillion afterwards.

To Mr Brown: Received the correspondence from the Oxley police in April last. There was no record in the police office of a horse having been stolen from Mrs Byrne, who however, afterwards took out a warrant for the arrest of the prisoner.

This closed the case for the prosecution.

Mr Brown said that accused had been in the habit of constantly visiting Mrs Byrne, and frequently used the horse in question. He gave the bay filly to Mrs Byrne’s daughter, and made an agreement with her, that if ever she sold or otherwise disposed of it, he would claim it again. In consequence of what transpired, subsequently there was a falling out between the parties. He had taken the horse, as Mrs Byrne said to him, “Take the horse Charlie, and do whatever you like with it.”He had sold it in a most open manner, and afterwards wanted to get it back.

Ellen Byron , a married woman living at the Black Dog Creek near Chiltern, deposed that her maiden name was Salisbury and that three years ago she was residing at Sebastopol . At that time knew Catherine Byrne, Mrs Byrne’s daughter. Also knew the accused, and was present at Mrs Byrne’s house when a transaction took place about a filly. The former said she was not to sell or shop it, or he would have another in its place. It was a bay filly with a running star. Saw a receipt given. He was residing at Mrs Byrne’s place at the time. Saw Mrs Byrne on Tuesday last at Sebastopol, and the latter said she did not mind what Sherritt did if he did not go after the Kellys.

To Inspector Smith.Was a domestic servant at Mrs Batchelors hotel at Sebastopol at the time.

To Mr Brown: Mrs Byrne was present at the time the receipt was drawn out.

William Sherritt , a brother of the accused, deposed to knowing the last witness, and stated that he was present at a transaction between his brother and Miss Byrne.The former gave the latter a bay filly, branded J.P. on the shoulder, on condition that she was to neither sell nor change it. Aaron Sherritt was very intimate with the family and often stayed there for weeks and months together. The bay horse outside the court had been in his brother’s paddock for as many as three months together. Both he (witness) and his brother had frequently used the horse. Mrs Byrne said to witness that if accused left the country she would withdraw the charge.

To Mr Smith: Heard Mrs Byrne authorise my brother to sell the horse, if he could get a good price for it. This was about two months before he took it.

John Sherritt , a brother of last witness, deposed that he knew the accused’s selection at Sebastopol. Some time in March last he (witness) and a man named Dawson were stopping there. Mrs Byrne came there and asked accused, “What horses are those in the paddock?” and he replied “I did not know that there were any horses in the paddock.” She said, “There are some there belonging to the police, and if I thought you knew it I would burn you down”, and also told him to take everything belonging to him out her place. He said that he would, and asked her “Are you going to pay for the mare I gave your daughter?” and she said, “Yes, I’ll give you the horse Charlie, and take it away.” Did not know where the horse was at the time.Saw it several times in accused’s paddock. Mr Byrne afterwards said she had lost the horse.

To Inspector Smith: She said that she knew the accused had taken it.

James Dawson , a laborer, deposed to knowing the accused and last witness. Was staying with them somewhere in the beginning of March, and Mrs Byrne came to the paddock fence and said something to Sherritt about horses he had in the paddock. She accused him of having Government horses there, and said that she would burn the fence down, if she thought he had them there with his knowledge. Sherritt said he either wanted the mare or the worth of it, and she said “Go and take your effects from my place; and the horse Charlie; I don’t want to have anything to do with you or your horse.” Knew nothing of previous transactions between the parties, having been a stranger in the locality.

To Inspector Smith: Cannot form any impression as to whether the words used by Mrs Byrne to accused, about the horse, meant either a swap, a sale, a deal, or a gift.

This closed the case, and accused was immediately discharged from custody.

The court then adjourned.


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